GUSD Becomes First District in US to Close Schools in Observance of April 24
GLENDALE, CA – On March 15, the Glendale Unified School District Board of Education unanimously voted to observe April 24th as the “Armenian Genocide Commemoration Day” closing down all 30 schools within the district.
The resolution, the first of its kind in the diaspora, will be enacted within the entire GUSD system, which represents over 50,000 Armenian students, parents, teachers, administration, and staff.
Prior to the board’s vote community organizations, leaders and members one after another took to the podium to speak in support, including ANCA Glendale Chair Zareh Adjemian, Community and Outreach Director Gev Iskajyan, and ANCA Western Region Executive Director Elen Asatryan.
In his remarks, Adjemian stated, “Glendale Unified School District’s board of education’s resolution passed today, approved by Glendale’s Teacher Association, California Schools Employees Association’s Glendale Chapter and Glendale Schools Management Association is a historic decision. The resolution which is in response to ANCA Glendale’s initiative and the community’s demands proves that our city’s school officials not only honor their constituents, but they also respect the over 1.5 million innocent martyrs of the Armenian Genocide. This is not a victory only for our community but for all of humanity and a step towards to world without genocide.”
All the while, Asatryan noted that the district has come a long way in properly teaching about the subject matter and commended the efforts of the leadership. Asatryan went on to state, “Commemorating the Armenian Genocide in such a manner not only pays tribute to the over 1.5 million lives lost during the Genocide, but also to the American people and all those who risked their lives to travel across seas and help save over 132,000 orphans, 1 million refugees and ultimately the Armenian nation from annihilation.”
“It is not only important that we remember this day, but we continue the process of education, until the whole world knows about the Armenian Genocide, until we live in a world without one”, stated GUSD Board Member Nayiri Nahabedian..
The resolution was the accumulation of petition drives, online social media campaigns, and the relentless work of the ANCA-Glendale chapter. The March 15 resolution permanently marks April 24 as a day of remembrance of the Armenian Genocide for all GUSD students.